Elvis Presley performed his final concert on June 26, 1977, just weeks before he died. The King’s last show took place at Indianapolis’ Market Square Arena to an audience of 18,000. There the star ended his last public performance with Can’t Help Falling In Love, but did you know his final private singing session took place on the day he died and was witnessed by his cousin, who remembers the star planning “big things” ahead?
Elvis died on August 16, 1977 around lunchtime at his home of Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. But being a night owl who slept all day, the star had spent his last evening – in the early hours of that morning –with his cousin and member of the Memphis Mafia, Billy Smith. The King had phoned him up around 3:30am asking if he and his wife Jo wanted to come over and play racquetball with him and his girlfriend Ginger Alden. So they all headed over to Elvis’ racquetball court behind the Graceland mansion where the two men started playing a game.
Appearing on the Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube channel, Billy said how during the game Elvis hurt his shin before they vacated the court so that Ginger and Jo could have a game.
Once he’d assessed on the sofa that he wasn’t bleeding, The King then went over to the piano, which you can see on the Graceland tour to this day.
Elvis began to play what ended up being something of a final private concert for his cousin and the last time he sang.
According to Billy, The King sang Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain and Unchained Melody.
READ MORE: Elvis Presley’s family on his facelifts, webbed toes and dyed hair
Both covers, Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain feature on Elvis’ 1976 album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee, while Unchained Melody is the opening track on The King’s final record, 1977’s Moody Blue.
After singing his final songs and they’d had enough of racquetball, the two couples headed back to the Graceland mansion around 6:15am.
But little did Billy and Jo know that this would be their last goodbyes to Elvis, who had been really excited for his next tour, set to start on August 17 in Portland, Maine’s Cumberland County Civic Center. He had been due to fly later that day. Billy and Jo said how Elvis was so looking forward to the tour and was feeling positive about the future.
Elvis – The living Hollywood star who played his mother opposite star [ELVIS MOVIES]
Elvis family on King’s spirit haunting Graceland ‘Weird feelings’ [ELVIS GHOST]
Elvis ‘other children’ – King’s family on claims star had more kids [ELVIS KIDS]
Jo remembers The King saying just before they left: “Good night and I love you. We’ve got big things to do, we’re going to do big things.” The couple then headed home around 7am not knowing that they’d seen their dear friend for the final time.
Around 1:30pm, Ginger woke up and released that Elvis wasn’t in bed. He’d gone to the bathroom a few hours earlier with a copy for Frank Adams’ The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus to read.
Ginger had warned Elvis not to fall asleep in there and he gave her his final words which were, “I won’t”. A few hours later she awoke to find his body after he’d suffered a fatal heart attack at just 42.